The first of the African Media Initiative’s continental network of specialized reporters is set to begin operating following a successful five day training programme in Nairobi on the coverage of the ICT sector.
Journalists drawn from the East Africa region who attended the training have been invited to become a part of the network pending approval and commitment by their editors that they will receive support in coverage of ICT related stories for their respective media houses.
The Reporters Networks are a part of AMI’s Media Services programme and will consist of a content sharing platform and initiative to strengthen members’ professional capacity. AMI will be charged with monitoring each of the networks’ outputs in terms of quality, depth of coverage, and volume of stories produced.
The aim of the sector trainings and networks is to improve the journalists’ understanding of how various industries work, increase their awareness of key issues and challenges facing the sectors, and enable them to better inform the public about topics that impact the quality of life and the progress of development on the continent.
Journalists recruited into the ICT sector network and others, will have access to sector leaders, a continental online community of practice, as well as a mentorship programme that will provide support in reinforcing the journalists’ knowledge and understanding of the sector.
Journalists who attended the East Africa regional training workshop on the coverage of the ICT sector noted the impact the training has had on them as media professionals interested in telling stories on the sector’s impact on Africa’s development.
Bahati Remmy, a journalist from MBS Uganda noted that“ when I arrived here, I had low expectations, as ICT sector news stories can sometimes be complex and hard to cover. After attending the training sessions, and gaining insider knowledge on how the sector operates and how it links to Africa’s development, I am confident that I can be a point of reference for my peers in Uganda on ICT related issues.”
Her sentiments were echoed by Tanzanian Journalist Lutengano Haonga who said, “we have gained knowledge and skills which will make coverage of the ICT sector much easier. I shall be urging my newsroom to embrace data journalism and more in-depth coverage of the sector.”
AMI CEO Eric Chinje assured the journalists that AMI and its partners in the training including the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and the African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI) would continue to provide support and access to sector experts in order to enrich media content.